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Category Archives: Life in the Catskills

Twenty Months.


Catherine has taken the children down to New York City, stopping there briefly before heading west. I am left alone in the cabin for the last few days of summer. After Labor Day I will join Catherine in Ohio, where we will spend the final month of Catherine’s pregnancy, awaiting the birth of our third […]

On Growing Lilies


A brief piece I wrote for the Catskill Native Plant Society.

Pawpaw Season.


Over the past week, Catherine has made a pawpaw cream pie, pawpaw pancakes, and we’ve had pawpaw ice cream made locally. I’ve been pretty impressed at how useful pawpaws can be. And I’m amazed that this the largest native North American fruit has never made it into American cuisine until now, because it fits in […]

April Snowfall.


We returned to the cabin and found spring just beginning in the mountains.  Down in the Rondout Valley the hepatica (H. acutiloba) bloomed March 30; the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) the following day; April 2nd saw spring-beauty (Claytonia carolina) bloom on Wildcat Mountain.  And then on April 3rd the snow came, in the middle of the […]

November Without Snow.


Winter Approaches.


Many people in the Catskills dread the winter, but I do not. I get to work outdoors at the nursery from spring until the arrival of winter, and even when I am not working there I am often gardening at my cabin or hiking in the mountains. The result is eight good months of constant […]

At Home.


Spring Cleaning.


In the mountains, spring cleaning is not merely a phrase. In order to create traction the roads are coated with sand, which of course mixes with the snow and becomes part of the coloration of one’s boots and automobile for the length of winter. I am always amazed at how my boots manage to discolor […]

Life, Unknown.


Next time you are in the woods at a tiny little spring, stare into the first pool it forms and watch the leaves at the bottom of the water.  If you watch long enough – at least here in the Catskills – you will start to see relatively large (just shy of an inch long) […]

Snowbound But Melting.


We have thirty inches of snow on the ground – more at higher elevations – and moving around is still slow and difficult, but the thaw has begun.  For weeks I’ve seen almost no animal tracks anywhere but right along the bed of the creek, where the snow is less deep.  But even after a […]